Advocacy Alert: Dec. 14
Congress Calls It a Year, Busy 2017 to Follow
Legislators cast their final votes of the year this past weekend, wrapping up the 114th
Congress and turning their focus to 2017, when over 50 new members of Congress will join a new President in Washington, D.C. While optimism had been building for a year-end budget deal on Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 appropriations, leadership in Congress and the President-elect opted for a continuing resolution that will keep federal agencies and programs funded at their current levels until April 28, 2017. This pushes back final decisions about FY 2017 funding levels into the spring, when Congress also could be tackling legislation on taxes, health care, and infrastructure, as well as beginning the FY 2018 budget and appropriations process. In short: legislators are going to be especially busy in 2017.
Negotiators finishing up the FY 2017 appropriations will start with the legislation written in the House and Senate this year. See how these FY 2017 bills compare to the FY 2016 current funding for some programs impacting museums:
| Agency/Program || FY 2016 Current || FY 2017 House || FY 2017 Senate |
| IMLS Office of Museum Services || $31.3 million || $31.3 million || $31.9 million |
| National Endowment for the Humanities || $147.9 million || $149.8 million || $148.4 million |
| National Endowment for the Arts || $147.9 million || $149.8 million || $148.4 million |
| NSF Advancing Informal STEM Learning || $62.5 million || TBD || $62.5 million |
| Smithsonian Institution || $840 million || $863 million || $860 million |
| State and Tribal Historic Preservation Offices || $56.9 million || $58.9 million || $57.9 million |
| Civil Rights Movement sites || $8 million || $11 million || $10 million |
| Save America’s Treasures || unfunded || $5 million || unfunded |
| National Park Service Operations || $2.370 billion || $2.435 billion || $2.406 billion |
While the current numbers reflect some modest increases for museum-related programs, there will be very different political dynamics at play
in 2017 with Republicans controlling the Senate, House of Representatives, and White House for the first time in a decade.
What You Can Do: Register Now for Museums Advocacy Day
It’s an oft-used phrase, but it’s absolutely true at this moment: the stakes have never been higher.
As referenced above, the new Congress will be facing the work of both
final funding decisions for FY 2017 and
starting the FY 2018 budget and appropriations process. At the same time, work on comprehensive tax reform will be getting underway as recent estimates
predict that President-elect Trump’s proposal would reduce charitable giving by over $17 billion per year. It will be critical to make the case for museums early and often, and there’s no better way to do that than by participating in Museums Advocacy Day 2017.
Seats are starting to fill up, so don’t delay. Already registered and preparing to attend?
Your museum’s Economic
Impact Statements are extremely powerful pieces to share with elected officials. See this example from the Amon Carter Museum of American Art
and complete yours today